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SOCIETY > Crime

Challenges of reforming Japan’s immigration system

  • November 1, 2021
  • , Sekai , p. 170-179
  • JMH Translation

By Mizukami Yoichiro  

 
1. The death of a Sri Lankan woman 

 

Following the death of a Nigerian man from starvation after he refused to eat at the Omura Immigration Center in June 2019, a Sri Lankan woman (33) died on March 6, 2021, at the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau’s detention center. The woman fell ill while in custody and requested a provisional release but despite her worsening symptoms, she was unable to receive proper treatment in a hospital and died in detention.     

 

This fatal incident was addressed at the 204th ordinary Diet session, where a bill to revise the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act was deliberated. The opposition parties grilled the immigration authorities over the cause of her death, and the discussions were suspended after they strongly called for the disclosure of video recordings showing the woman while in detention. In addition, the bereaved family members who arrived in Japan from Sri Lanka and their support groups leveled accusations at the authorities, claiming they disrespected her human rights and let her die and failed to determine the cause of her death.  

 

Meanwhile, the Immigration Services Agency of Japan stipulated improvement measures in its death investigation report, which included: 1) Raising the awareness of its staff; 2) Reforming the organization into one that can provide medical treatment; 3) Strengthening the healthcare system; and 4) Appropriate implementation of provisional releases.  
 

Justice Minister Kamikawa Yoko apologized at a press conference and said: “[The officials] were overly obsessed with the idea of sending her back to her country, and there was a lack of awareness that they were treating a human being.” Immigration Services Agency of Japan Commissioner Sasaki Seiko also admitted mistakes had been made. “As officials of a government agency that is in the service of people’s lives, they lacked a sense of seriousness and compassion,” she said. Many newspapers criticized the agency for its lack of awareness of human rights and insufficient medical care, with the headlines saying: “Immigration Services Agency lacks awareness on human rights, suspects victim hoped for ‘temporary release’ by playing up her symptoms”; “Death at immigration center – final report concludes insufficient medical care, four officials, including bureau chief, reprimanded”; and “Immigration Services Agency lacks sense of seriousness.” One editorial said: “We must question the closed nature of the Immigration Services Agency.”  

 

I retired from the head of the Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau about 20 years ago, and I currently belong to a few organizations dealing with foreign nationals. The justice minister said the officials “were overly obsessed with the idea of sending her back to her country” while the commissioner said they “lacked compassion.” From my own experience, I believe these remarks somewhat represent the various factors that led to the fatal incident. Here I will explore the problems related to the reform of Japan’s immigration system.  

2. Law still mainly about how to manage foreign nationals

 

First of all, let us review how the Immigration Services Agency and the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act were established. The agency was established when Japan was under the occupation of the Allied Forces after the end of the Second World War, immediately after the Korean War broke out in 1950. The work of immigration services had been shared by each ministry, agency, and local municipality until the “Emigration and Immigration Agency” was established on October 1, 1951, as an external agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs based on a GHQ memorandum ordering the establishment of a new entity. In practice, the organization was charged with dealing with stowaways from the Korean Peninsula and policing Korean residents in Japan. The “Emigration and Immigration Agency” was later renamed the “Immigration Agency.” Next it was transferred to the Justice Ministry and became the “Immigration Bureau” within the ministry when Japan regained its independence in 1952. On April 1, 2019, it became an external agency and was renamed the “Immigration Services Agency of Japan.”  

 

After Japan regained its independence by signing the San Francisco Peace Treaty, there were two laws on Japan’s immigration system–the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (this was called “Immigration Control Order” around the time of Japan’s independence and the name remained the same after independence but later became legally effective) and the Alien Registration Act (most of which was later incorporated into the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act).  

 

The Immigration Control Order was promulgated on October 4, 1951, six months before Japan’s regaining its independence and in the middle of the Korean War. It was enacted on November 1 of the same year. This ordinance was also based on GHQ’s memorandum. The section in charge of general immigration control and the section in charge of cracking down on illegal entry and detaining and extraditing persons were compiled into one ordinance. Its purpose was stipulated in Article 1, which said: “The purpose of this ordinance is to provide for equitable control over the entry into and departure from Japan of all persons.”  
 

This Immigration Control Order, which was enacted before Japan’s independence, became legally effective when Japan regained its independence, and Article 1 as well as other articles remained. After that, following Japan’s accession to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the agency was tasked with the recognition of refugee status, and the name of the law was changed to the “Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.” The recognition of refugee status was added to the scope of the act, but otherwise the law remained unchanged.  

 

Article 1 of the revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, which came into effect on April 1, 2009, includes “the residency of all foreigners who live in Japan” as its new scope. However, “immigration control” has been interpreted to include the management of foreigners’ residency, and this additional phrase was only meant to clarify this point.  

 

As mentioned above, the purpose of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act has consistently been immigration control (except for recognition of the refugee status that was later added) for almost 70 years since the end of the war. Legal foreigners will be allowed to enter and stay in Japan, but as for illegal foreigners, many will eventually be deported. Even today, after Japan regained its independence, achieved postwar reconstruction, became a member of the international community, and became internationalized and globalized, the main purpose of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act remains “immigration control.” As for refugee affairs, the law only stipulates the procedures for recognition of refugee status.  

 

How has the Immigration Services Agency responded to changes in Japanese society and the international environment? Recently, the agency was even given the role of supervising the provision of administrative services to foreign nationals in Japan. It became its responsibility to realize and improve the environment for a symbiotic society where foreign nationals can coexist with Japanese. How has the agency, whose sole purpose has been immigration control, dealt with various issues and problems? Let’s look at some examples and examine their achievements, limitations, as well as merits and demerits.  

 

3. Legal status of foreign residents in Japan

 

The first issue that the Immigration Services Agency faced was the treatment of South and North Koreans living in Japan. In 1965, upon normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea, the Agreement on the Legal Status and Treatment of Nationals of the Republic of Korea Residing in Japan between Japan and the Republic of Korea was signed to stabilize the legal status and treatment of South Koreans living in Japan. The Special Act on the Control of Immigration was enacted in order for the agency to issue them permanent residency permits. This permanent residency is more advantageous than the general permanent residency in terms of forced deportation measures, and it was called “treaty-based permanent residency.”  

 

In addition, in order to stabilize the legal status of people from the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan and their descendants who have been living in Japan since before the war, the “Special Act on the Immigration Control of, inter alia, Those Who Have Lost Japanese Nationality pursuant to the Treaty of Peace with Japan” was enacted. This is called special permanent residency, and the treaty-based permanent residency was incorporated into this. This is how special provisions on forced deportation were established for those who lost Japanese nationality pursuant to the Treaty of Peace with Japan and their descendants, and their legal status has remained stable to this day.  

 

These matters were exactly within the field of the Immigration Services Agency. As mentioned earlier, from the era of the occupation to around that time, the Immigration Services Agency was detecting, detaining, and repatriating stowaways from the Korean Peninsula. On the other hand, it has also been an important task for the agency to grant special permission for residence for illegal foreigners out of humanitarian considerations.  

 

4. Seeking a symbiotic society with foreign nationals

 

The Immigration Services Agency is currently taking a step toward the realization of a symbiotic society with foreign nationals, which is outside the range of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. Or perhaps I should say the agency was set up to do so. What does the Immigration Services Agency, which is charged with immigration control, have to do with the realization of a symbiotic society?  

 

In December 2018, the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act was amended to include a new system called “Specified Skilled Workers.” To put it simply, this system aims to introduce a limited number of foreign workers in fourteen fields that were understaffed at the time, such as nursing care, building cleaning, and construction. Most people interpreted this to mean that Japan decided to fully accept foreign workers.  

 

The introduction of the “Specified Skilled Workers” was a classic Kantei-led initiative (Prime Minister Abe, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga). The prime minister gave the instruction at the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on February 20, 2018, and its direction and outline were decided on June 15, 2018. After the instruction given by the prime minister, each ministry and agency mobilized all of their personnel to work out the bill and the details. Diet deliberations (the House of Councilors plenary session) were held until midnight, and before dawn of December 8, 2018, the bill was rammed through the Diet in the teeth of objections by the opposition parties. During this period, the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy gave the agency the role of a command tower to improve the environment for accepting foreign nationals on the premise of establishing the Immigration Services Agency (although this name was not decided at that time). In addition, the agency was to “protect the human rights of foreign nationals and work toward the realization of a society where foreign nationals can live in harmony with each other.”  

 

On the issue of a symbiotic society, as you can see from the issues related to the Korean residents, the Indochina refugees, and foreign nationals of Japanese descent, Japan’s policy on a symbiotic society had originally been very insufficient. Thus far the government has taken the following measures.  

 

First, on December 25, 2006, “Comprehensive Measures for ‘Foreigners as Ordinary Citizens'” (Liaison Committee among Ministries and Agencies on the Problems Faced by Foreign Workers) was established. This liaison committee was set up in the Cabinet Secretariat on May 13, 1988, during the Takeshita Cabinet, having directors-general of each ministry and agency as members. This is the oldest committee of its kind. When it was established, the committee discussed such issues as so-called unskilled labor and illegal employment. After that, local municipalities strongly requested the government take measures to accept foreigners of Japanese descent. Specifically, a council of local municipalities where foreign residents are concentrated called for a unified policy to solve various problems related to foreign nationals and the establishment of a responsible organization.  

 

This issue was taken up during discussions on global strategies at the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy in 2006, where it was decided to “promote building a multicultural society, such as the formulation of comprehensive measures for foreigners as ordinary citizens,” which led to the compilation of the aforementioned Comprehensive Measures. However, since the policy-making body of this liaison committee consisted of directors-general of ministries and agencies, many of the decisions were aimed at promoting and enhancing the measures already implemented by the ministries and agencies.   

 

Next, “Measures for Supporting Settled Foreign Nationals” (Cabinet Office) was decided on January 30, 2009.  
 

The collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 seriously affected foreign nationals of Japanese descent and others, and the government took measures for their employment, education, and housing and provided support for their return home. After that, a council on the promotion of measures for the settled foreign nationals of Japanese descent promoted measures for their settlement. All of these measures were focused on foreign nationals of Japanese descent.  

 

This is how the Immigration Services Agency suddenly became involved in the issue of creating a symbiotic society with foreign nationals amid the lack of a government policy that covers all kinds of foreigners.  
 

On July 24, 2018, the Ministry of Justice assumed the role of general coordination of improvement of the environment for the acceptance of foreign nationals based on a Cabinet decision, and the Cabinet agreed on the same day “on holding a Ministerial Conference on Acceptance and Coexistence of Foreign Nationals.” The Ministerial Conference was set up with the Chief Cabinet Secretary and the Minister of Justice as chairs, and it advocated for “accepting new foreign human resources with certain specialties and skills and to improve the environment to realize a symbiotic society with foreign nationals in Japan.” The acceptance of foreign human resources with specialties and skills refers to the ”Specified Skilled Workers,” and you can see that it is combined with the issue of creating a “symbiotic society.”  
 

The rest moved with great speed. On December 8 of the same year, the revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act passed the Diet, and the “Specified Skilled Workers” system was established, and on the 25th of the same month, the Ministerial Conference decided on the “Comprehensive Measures for Acceptance and Coexistence of Foreign Nationals.”   

 

Thus, starting with Prime Minister Abe’s instruction on February 20, 2018, the “Specified Skilled Workers” system was included with unprecedented speed in the revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act on April 1, 2019. At the same time, policies on the coexistence of foreign nationals began to move forward under the leadership of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy. This policy-making process was led by the Kantei, which had been hoping to simultaneously solve the long-standing issues of introducing “Specified Skilled Workers” and developing the Comprehensive Measures on foreign nationals.   
 

I have already mentioned the steamrolling of the bill to revise the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. Does it make sense that only the government decided on the issue of coexistence of foreigners, which is extremely important for the future of Japanese society, without any debate in the Diet?   

 

Having the Ministry of Justice (Immigration Services Agency) handle the issue of creating a symbiotic society can be justified by Article 3 of the Ministry of Justice Establishment Act, which states: “The Ministry of Justice has the mission to help the work of the Cabinet concerning specific important policies related to the mission of the Ministry of Justice.” However, the government avoided holding national debate and took the easy path. The Immigration Services Agency is just “breathlessly” following the government’s decisions.  

 

5. “Patchwork” of statuses of residence 

 

The Abe administration announced the ”utilization of foreign human resources” as part of its growth strategy. High-level professionals, which were previously under the “Designated Activities” status, have been upgraded to the new status of residence of “Highly Skilled Professionals” following the revision of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.  

 

The “Designated Activities” status is often applied when accepting foreign nationals who are not so-called highly-skilled human resources. “Designated Activities” is one of the statuses of residence and refers to “activities designated by the Minister of Justice for individual foreign nationals.” Currently, there are about 50 such activities. Since this is not a new status of residence, no legislative measures or Diet deliberations were required.  

 

What is characteristic is the acceptance of foreign nationals in the National Strategic Special Zones. For example, in order to promote the acceptance of foreign entrepreneurs in certain special zones, the requirements for the status of residence of “Business Manager” have been relaxed. In Tokyo and Osaka, so-called housekeepers are coming to Japan through temp agencies under the status of “Foreigner Conducting Housekeeping Services.”  

 

With the introduction of “Cool Japan Inbound,” which is part of the nation’s tourism-oriented policy, students majoring in manga, anime, fashion design, games, Japanese food, etc. at vocational schools are allowed to stay in Japan under the “Designated Activities” status. The ban on foreign labor employment in agriculture was also lifted to resolve labor shortages. Acceptance of employees of overseas subsidiaries in the manufacturing industry and acceptance of construction and shipbuilding workers, etc. all fall under the status of “Designated Activities.” This is how the “patchwork” of the statuses of residence progressed.  

 

A typical “patchwork” of the statuses of residence can be seen in the area of nursing care. Japan already signed EPAs (Economic Partnership Agreements) with Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, and nurses and certified care workers are working in Japan. However, they work under the “Designated Activities” status until they pass the national examination and become qualified. In addition, due to the shortage of nursing care personnel, a new status of residence of “Nursing Carer” was established. It also became possible for foreign nationals to work in nursing care under the framework of “Technical Intern Training.” If you add the “Permit for Deviation of Status” granted to international students, there are five forms. There are currently about 30 types of status of residence, but as mentioned earlier, there are about 50 Designated Activities. As a result of this “patchwork” of statuses of residence, requirements are generally complicated and a considerable number of verification documents are required.  

 

The idea is to accept all sorts of foreign human resources and foreign labor if they are found to be useful for the growth strategy and in solving the labor shortage, with various conditions. This idea perhaps addresses the needs of the times, but it is definitely not based on a long-term policy perspective. All of these were put into practice by top-down decisions.  

 

In recent years, many of the policies and measures have been handed down to each agency from the top down, mainly by the Kantei, after being arranged by numerous advisory councils, working groups, and private lawmakers, etc., and each agency is tasked with working out the details. The same is true for the Immigration Services Agency, where many orders come in rapid succession. There is no time for the agency to consider the “aesthetics” of laws and decrees. New articles are just being added to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. In the meantime, the challenges related to illegal foreigners and refugees may have been pushed aside.  

 

There are issues of responsibility, morale, and initiative, and we need to confirm the importance of a bottom-up approach and have a balanced policymaking (process).  

 

6. Proposal for immigration reform

 

As we have seen, the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act is the single basic law related to the immigration administration, and its purpose is only described as “equitable control over the entry into and departure from Japan of all persons.” When considering the urgent issue of immigration reform, I am first of all surprised that this remained the same for 70 years despite the changing situation. At present, there is no entity in charge of formulating a grand design based on a consistent long-term perspective on accepting foreign nationals. The Immigration Services Agency was recently tasked with the improvement of the environment for coexistence with foreign nationals. There had been almost no national debate, including at the Diet.   

 

The issue of coexistence with foreign nationals has been “drifting” for more than 30 years, since the latter half of the 1980s, although it has been taken up in various forms such as introducing foreign workers, trainees and technical intern trainees, foreign nationals of Japanese descent, the utilization of “foreign human resources,” and the acceptance of immigrants. This is probably because there has been no head-on discussion about coexistence with foreigners, and Japan has yet to define what an ideal society should be. Under such circumstances, the Immigration Services Agency took on the heavy responsibility of improving the environment for coexistence with foreign nationals.  

 

I will explore the below issues that need to be examined only in relation to the Immigration Services Agency and the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.  

 

Bringing detention and deportation procedures in line with international standards 
 

Regarding the practice of detention and deportation, we must train officers not to regard the foreign nationals as criminals, not to subject them to preventive detention, but to regard them as ordinary human beings, and thereby respect their dignity and human rights. We must secure budget and other resources for that purpose.  

 

Regarding the practice of detention, a written opinion was sent to the Government of Japan on September 28, 2020, by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, claiming that the detention of certain foreigners was arbitrary detention. The Ministry of Justice remonstrated that the group does not understand the Japanese system and its written opinion is based on factual misunderstandings. However, organizations related to UN human rights treaties had been making recommendations against the detention and deportation practices of the Immigration Services Agency in the past, and as a response, although it may not be sufficient, a committee was set up to monitor detention centers. However, generally speaking, there is room for improvement from the viewpoint of human rights treaties, international human rights law, and international standards among the developed nations.  
 

In this regard, I would like to take up the Supreme Court decision on the McLean case (October 4, 1978). There are many points of contention, but the problem relevant here is that “the basic human rights under the Constitution are guaranteed to foreign nationals only within the framework of the foreign residency system.” Since this ruling, Japan has ratified and joined the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ratified in 1979) and other human rights and refugee treaties. Nevertheless, this Supreme Court decision on the human rights of foreigners is still valid and followed. I would like to say that this ruling must be amended immediately. I don’t feel it is necessary to offer a reason.  

 

I still remember that after Japan ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Immigration Services Agency received an inquiry from MOFA concerning a report to be submitted to the United Nations. The report included a statement that said: ”There are no ethnic minorities in Japan.” I pointed out the issues of South and North Koreans living in Japan and the indigenous Ainu people, but if I remember correctly, the statement remained unchanged. At that time, I wondered if the Japanese were naïve about this. Strictly speaking, it was ignorance.  

 

Recruiting staff suitable for new immigration services 

 

When hiring staff for career positions in immigration services, prospective officials should be versed in such subjects as the humanities and social sciences in addition to law and administration. In order to achieve the policy goal of realizing a symbiotic society with foreign nationals, we need trained staff with a basic knowledge of psychology, humanities, geography, area studies, cultural anthropology, sociology, etc. In particular, they need to have a sense of human rights, an understanding of different cultures, and communication skills. A new set of national examination subjects tailored to new immigration services should be established immediately in consultation with the National Personnel Authority.  

 

To the same end, we should hire and train specialists with knowledge and experience in forming a symbiotic society. We should consider recruiting mid-career staff from local governments, NPOs, academia, etc.   
 

Reforms regarding the positioning of refugee recognition services  

 

Regarding the issue of refugees, Japan’s policy has been described as “refugee seclusion-ism.” Meanwhile, inside the Immigration Services Agency, the issue has long been recognized as abuse or misuse of refugee recognition applications. Currently, refugee specialists receive on-the-job training within the agency. However, the only section in charge is the Refugee Recognition Office under the Immigration Division of the Immigration Department. A unit in charge of secondary examination of the petition against rejection of refugee recognition is also placed in the Adjudication Division under the Immigration Department, which is a part of the Immigration Services Agency. In short, current refugee affairs in Japan are administered by only one department in the Immigration Services Agency.  

 

From the perspective of facilitating the asylum, protection, support, and settlement of refugees, an organization separate from the Immigration Services Agency should be established, or at least the agency should be expanded both in quantity and quality. In the latter case, the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act requires stipulation of not only the procedures of refugee recognition but also their protection and support.   
 

In addition, in order to strengthen refugee examination, we should designate mainly inspectors who have worked abroad, regional researchers, and those who majored in foreign languages as regional officers and give them the opportunity for study and training. The qualification requirements for refugee examination counselors are stipulated by law, but sufficient screening and training are required for them to acquire expertise.  

 

Reform of Immigration Services Agency 

 

Under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, immigration services are mainly divided into legal and illegal, and authority is divided among the Minister of Justice, the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency, immigration inspectors, and immigration officers. This is based on the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, which takes the form of a procedural law to protect the rights and interests of foreign nationals. However, there is a problem in terms of unity within the organization.  

 

For this reason, immigration inspectors and immigration officers have been holding mutual exchanges, but this has not necessarily resolved the problem. Although it is necessary to change the awareness of officials to carry out the mission of preparing an environment for coexistence with foreigners, there is also the issue of whether the existing organizational structure can sufficiently address this mission. There is also the issue of whether the position of “immigration control officer” should be retained, including plans to unify all official positions under “immigration officer” or to entrust the series of deportation procedures to the criminal justice system. We need to examine the state of the organization from scratch, including the issues of detention and repatriation and the status of residence system, and carry out reforms.  

 

The Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act decentralizes authority, but on the other hand, various organizational laws allow the Minister of Justice and the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan to command and order subordinate organizations, and directors of Regional Immigration Services Bureaus can command and supervise immigration inspectors and immigration control officers. Internally, consistent administrative enforcement is possible, but from the perspective of immigration control law procedures, it is very confusing and even appears to be inconsistent. This is because the authority is not in fact divided up.  

 
Establishment of a policy research institute for a symbiotic society 

 

The Immigration Services Agency, which was tasked with improving the environment for creating a symbiotic society in addition to the conventional immigration services, must step into an unexplored field. Therefore, we need a research institute that would become the basis for policy formulation and a venue for officials to conduct research and get trained. Such an institute should promote a wide range of research on immigration law/policy, refugee law/policy, international law, as well as ethnicity, ethnic relations, cross-cultural communication, multicultural theory, international human rights law, etc., and promote exchanges with academia. In order to formulate new policies that suit the times, we need to be able to identify problems and have unrestricted discussions based on a wide range of knowledge.  

 
Active personnel exchange 

 

The Immigration Services Agency was once established as an external agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was transferred to the Ministry of Justice after Japan’s independence. The head of the Immigration Services Agency was seconded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than 40 years until 1999. After that, prosecutors from the Public Prosecutors Office took charge of the post until 2006, after which the immigration officer was appointed to the post for the first time. Since then, there have been five prosecutors and two immigration officers. Of the two immigration officers, one has been serving as the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency after serving as the head of a Regional Immigration Services Bureau. This is a great opportunity to consider how these changes in the leaders of immigration services have affected the culture, ethos, and traditions of the immigration organization during its transition period. Personnel exchanges between ministries and agencies and personnel exchanges within ministries and agencies are necessary to meet complex and diverse administrative needs. In the case of immigration services, personnel exchanges with the Human Rights Bureau and the Civil Affairs Bureau which is in charge of nationality acquisition in the Ministry of Justice are required. Each bureau is responsible for systems that are closely related to forming a symbiotic society with foreigners, but at present, they are operating separately.  

 

Toward a symbiotic society 

 

I have long recommended the enactment of a ”Basic Law for Exchanges and Symbiosis” and the establishment of an ”Exchanges and Symbiosis Agency.” The future of Japan will not be born from an “economism” that pursues only growth, nor from the “security managerialism” that only pursues safety and security. I would like to see the future of this country from the exchanges between foreign countries, especially from coexistence with Asian countries.  
 

Even today, 70 to 80% of foreign nationals in Japan are Asian people, whether they are here for short-term stays such as sightseeing or long-term stays such as employment. We should look back on our modern and contemporary history, pay more attention to this fact, and use our creativity. Japan has been deeply involved with Asian countries, positively through economic activities, and negatively through colonization and war. Moving the vector of past colonization and war in the opposite direction may open up possibilities for Japan in the future. I think that the entry of Asian people into Japan and exchanges with them as residents will bring hope. There is hope for Japan, which is known for its hybrid culture.  

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